Q&A with Pursuitery

One of the best things about the Maker Party partners program is the opportunity to connect with people and organizations that are as passionate about making and teaching the web as we are. One of our partners that we’ve been geeking out with on the web is Pursuitery. Pursuitery is a place where individuals from all over the world come together online to explore their interests, build their skills, and share their experiences about the things they are most interested in. It’s an awesome place to explore and make on the web. I had the chance to sit down with Community Manager, Evan Jones, to learn more about Pursuitery and what they’re doing for the Maker Party campaign this year:

Evan Jones at Coding With Scratch program at the Echo Park library in LA.

Evan Jones at Coding With Scratch program at the Echo Park library in LA

What is Pursuitery and what do you do?

Pursuitery is an online community. We provide a friendly and supportive space where people can connect with and learn from one another. I function as the community manager (I call myself a “web wrangler” because, really, who would NOT want that title?) and work to address the needs of our members. I listen to our users, talk with them, and keep them up to date on the site and what we’re doing with it. Intriguing stuff!

What is the event you will be hosting or running during Maker Party?

We’ll be hosting three challenges through Pursuitery – Make A Meme & Hack The Web W/ X-Ray Goggles, Turn Gifs Into A Music Video (yes, we are still figuring out how to pronounce “GIF.” Please feel free to tweet us @Pursuitery with your take on the argument!),  and Build An App With AppMaker. The last challenge, Build An App with Appmaker, just ran on Pursuitery.   I should note that we hold Geekouts – interactive video chats – on Pursuitery.com as well. We’re doing one for each challenge, so there’s been one every Monday for the last couple of weeks. You should definitely check them out if you’re into Maker Party goodness and fun banter!

Pursuitery Appmaker Geekout.

Pursuitery Appmaker Geekout

Why did you choose to get involved with Maker Party?

We were informed that there was no party like a Maker Party due to the fact that a Maker Party apparently does not stop. I am happy to say that we were informed correctly. But seriously: We love the web. We love learning about the web, and we love helping others learn about the web. It’s an exciting place and sharing that excitement is a big part of what we do. Maker Party is therefore a natural fit for us.

Tell us what you’re most excited for at the event/events?

Well I had a blast making memes and remixing websites, but I am also 100 percent sure that I will have the time of my life making my own App. I used to perform absurdist pranks when I was a student; goofy things like running a fundraiser to buy our class an island and whatnot. Now I can finally take my love of situationist humor and make an app with it!

Why do you think is it important for youth and adults to make things with technology?

The creative rush is like nothing else. When you build something, you feel a sense of achievement, a sense of completion, that no person or force can take away from you. It’s fun. It’s exciting. Who didn’t make a box fort or something like that when they were a kid? Who didn’t like making up their own characters and stories, or even just playing with the characters that others came up with for hours on end? I view making things with technology as an extension of that. Yes it can be serious, but the play element is important as well.   It’s ultimately a chance to translate your ideas into a new form and find a new way to express yourself. Technology and the Internet occupy a vast space in our lives, and so putting your stamp on them is a good way to not just feel like you’re sitting there lost in this torrent of data and images. So learning how to make things with technology is just another way to interact with the world at large; it’s a chance to not only learn a skill but also a chance to learn about yourself. And that’s pretty important.

What is the feedback you usually get from people who attend or teach at your events?

We get the best compliments. To have somebody offer up time to talk with us and then be told “Hey, I had a lot of fun doing this!” is very gratifying. It’s even more gratifying to know that people are having that kind of fun all over the world when they visit Pursuitery and join our Challenges and Geekouts.

Why is it important for people and organizations to get involved in Maker Party?

It’s cool to connect. Technology lets us connect on a variety of different levels, even if we’re not in the same place, but there’s nothing quite like walking up to some people you’re friendly with and saying “Hey, check THIS out!” and then showing off your new favorite comic, record, app, or whatever. It’s even more exciting when it’s something YOU made. Maker Party amplifies that feeling by letting large amounts of people enjoy that kind of creative spark together. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s exciting to be a part of that surge.   Actually let me put it this way: It’s far better than just taking another coffee break. And I say that as a coffee lover!

How can people get in touch with your organization?

You can find us online at Pursuitery.com and Tweet at us @Pursuitery. We do a lot of cool stuff and we’d love to see you all on the site sometime. Let’s keep the Maker Party going!